Harvest time is here, and farmers are getting out in their fields to reap what they have sown. Did you know that every farmer has a very small but important helper? This helper is vital to the development of the crops, but it is missing opposable thumbs. Can you guess who it is? That’s right. We are talking about the honey bee. These busy little gals are responsible for approximately one out of every three things you eat. In a bee colony, there are three types of bees: the queen, who lays eggs; the drones (or male bees), who are only responsible for fertilizing eggs; and the worker bees, who are all female and do all of the work of the colony. Beekeeping is much more than honey production. Mississippi has about 20-30,000 colonies in the summer and 80-120,000 in the winter. Many bee colonies are migratory and are transported around the country, having been contracted to help farmers pollinate their crops. Some of these migratory colonies winter in Mississippi because of the mild climate. As a state, we produce about 2.25 million pounds of honey each year and rank 28th in the country, with the top state, North Dakota, producing 32.66 million annually. Here is a short video about bees in Mississippi. Enjoy!